[tex-live] TeXLive for Windows, sigh!

Reinhard Kotucha reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Sun Mar 4 02:02:41 CET 2007

At the moment I'm working on the VnTeX installation guide.  I'm trying
to explain people how to install VnTeX on different platforms.  MikTeX
differs a bit from TeXLive but this is not a big problem.

However, the instructions are the same for teTeX, gwTeX, TeXLive for
any UNIX platform, but only "TeXLive for Windows" always needs extra
treatment for no good reason.

I'm quite frustrated now because "TeXLive for Windows" (it has,
politely said, nothing to do with TeXLive), causes so much extra
work.  Explaining how to install VnTeX on "TeXLive for Windows"
confuses people more than it helps.  I tend to remove the "TeXLive for
Windows" stuff from the documentation for this reason.

I still don't know what all the changes are good for.  I'm aware that
"simple users" (whatever this is) had been in mind.  But there is one
point I'm completely unable to understand:

The directory structure of TeXLive is:


"TeXLive for Windows" has:


Can anybody explain what this is good for?  UNIX users can simply
install a new version of TeXLive and all the files in texmf-local are

"Simple users" have to copy the content of texlive2005/texmf-local to
texlive2007/texmf-local ***manually***.  And they probably delete
texmf-local unintentionally when they remove TL-2005.  Why can't
things be on Windows as convenient as on UNIX?  Yes, I know that
"TeXLive for Windows" has "simple users" in mind but the phrase
"simple user" had never been defined, so what is meant?  An idiot, a
masochist, a system administrator, or what?

And, as I already said, I'm quite frustrated.  What I absolutely do
not need at the moment is a mail message which begins with the words
"As I told you many times..." (without any explanation, as usual).

I'm glad that the differences between TeXLive and "TeXLive for
Windows" had been mentioned in the TeXLive documentation.

But did anybody consider that package maintainers have to explain how
to install their stuff on such a (deliberately) crippled system too?
And did anybody notice that it confuses "simple" and normal users?

It's really nice that we have TeXLive and "TeXLive for Windows", two
TeX distributions are better then one, but it doesn't make fun to
explain the useless differences to VnTeX users.  It confuses people
and it is extra work, and I still don't see the benefit.


Reinhard Kotucha			              Phone: +49-511-4592165
Marschnerstr. 25
D-30167 Hannover	                      mailto:reinhard.kotucha at web.de
Microsoft isn't the answer. Microsoft is the question, and the answer is NO.

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